Howth Gunrunning Lecture.

I'm #1.

Feb 7, 2012
The Asgard 1916 Society Dublin will be hosting a talk on the Asgard gunrunning in 1914 and the Easter Rising of 1916.

Venue. National History Museum, Collins Barracks Dublin on Saturday 29th of October 2016 @‌ 2pm

Speaker: Kevin Morley.

The events of the 26th July 1914 were a watershed in Irish republican history and particularly their contribution to the Easter Rising 1916. With the loss of the Aud the guns landed at Howth were to increase in magnitude of importance thus furthering the possibility of the rising taking place.

Firstly it is important to examine the life of one of the main planners of the landing, Erskine Childers, his life in brief and conversion from unionism to home rule then ultimately republicanism.

The venture started in Conway, North Wales, as Childers and his crew sailed in the Asgard down the coast, hugging the English coastline, to meet up with Conor O’Brien and his yacht the Kelpie which also ferried arms to be landed in Wicklow a couple of days later. Off the Belgium coast the two vessels liased with the lightship carrying the valuable cargo which were then transferred onto the two yachts.

Childers landed his contraband at Howth on 26th July 1914 aping the exploits of the UVF earlier in the year at Larne in the North. What the Irish Volunteers, who the weaponry was for the use of, and Childers did perhaps not take on board was the fact that the UVF carried out their operation with the connivance of the British army and Loyal Opposition Conservative party and leader, Andrew Bonar Law along with senior members of the English aristocracy.

Then the events which occurred on the same day at Bachelors Walk resulting in several deaths will be examined, the role of the British army and incompetence of their officers. A critical look at the volunteers response and attitudes to these events will be looked at. The blame for the deaths lay at the feet of the British unquestionably but the volunteers attitude was somewhat indifferent and strange.

To end the seminar what appear to be riddles surrounding Childers will be examined through his change from a dedicated unionist to home rule advocate to activist and finally republicanism which was ultimately to cost him his life.



Well-known member
Dec 8, 2010
I'll pop along to that, should be interesting. Thanks for posting.

Well-known member
Oct 5, 2008
A large crowd gathered at Howth when the Asgard arrived in plain daylight.
The guns were offloaded and collected by uniformed members of Na Fianna Eireann observed by port officials.
Photographs were taken of the gun runners.
The police and Army were notified but no serious attempt was made to stop the operation.
19 rifles were seized in the grounds of a Christian Brothers school,but the Courts ordered they be returned as "they were seized illegally".

Strange days indeed.

Ironic that Childers was treated with kid gloves by the Brits, and later executed by Staters for possesion of a small pistol (a gift from Collins)

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